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Productivity matters for Canada

As a nation, we must return to encouraging, celebrating and rewarding hard work

As a proud member of T8N100MEN, a group of over 120 St. Albert residents who gather quarterly to support our community's charitable sector, I am continually inspired by the stories of local charities serving the vulnerable and needy. Our members come from diverse backgrounds, including doctors, farmers, police officers, lawyers, business owners, employees, and retirees. This diversity reminds me of the biblical adage, “To whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48). It emphasizes our responsibility to use our talents, wealth, knowledge, and time to benefit others.

Our society thrives when those capable of working choose to assist those who are unable or in need of a hand up — not those who are unwilling. However, I observe a growing issue in Canada's productivity, driven by a government focused on being a provider of a safety net for everyone, including those who simply want a handout rather than those who truly need support. In this view of being everything to everybody, government growth is out of control.

Since gaining power, this federal government has increased the size of the federal civil service by 109,000 employees — a staggering 42 per cent since 2015 —while Canada's population grew by only 14 per cent in the same period. This means the civil service has expanded three times faster than the population. Recently, federal union leaders expressed outrage at the government's request for employees to work in the office three days a week, despite this being a management right retained under the new collective agreement signed after a lengthy strike.

At a time when Canadians struggle with basic expenses like groceries, this government's spending shows no signs of restraint. Instead, they continue to increase taxes on the country's producers, with the latest move being a capital gains tax grab. Hard work should be rewarded, not punished, and the government should focus on appropriate programs to support the genuinely vulnerable and needy, not those who are lazy or envious.

To address these issues, I propose a simple solution: reduce spending, bring the country's finances back in line, lower personal tax rates, eliminate corporate subsidies (such as the $40 billion in electric-vehicle supply chain grants), simplify our income tax system, and explore ways to boost productivity. This approach would benefit the entire population.

As a nation, we must return to encouraging, celebrating and rewarding hard work. Without such rewards (such as reduced inclusion rates on capital gains, competitive personal tax rates compared to our neighbours and a much simpler income tax system), I’m convinced that we’ll continue to see successful people leave Canada (or shun coming to Canada).

When I grew up, an entrepreneur who created jobs, contributed to the GDP, and served the community was celebrated and encouraged. Canadians, it's time to get back to work. I look forward to a future where success is celebrated again, both in policy and in societal attitudes. Let's strive for a community where everyone contributes according to their efforts and ability, is fairly rewarded and supports those truly in need, ensuring a balanced, prosperous future for all.